In a series of posts—this our first—we will assess whether it is not only desirable but also possible that the two divergent trade blocs of Pacific Alliance and MERCOSUR in Latin America can converge as Chile is now pushing. Or is this just another exercise in empty political posturing?
Barbara Kotschwar, PhD, is a research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Her recent projects include US-Cuba trade, comparative analyses of Latin American experiences with free trade agreements, Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) in Latin America, an assessment of Mexico's economy, and studies on commercial relations between the United States and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) partners. Kotschwar is also adjunct professor of Latin American studies and economics at Georgetown University. Her publications include: Economic Normalization with Cuba: A Roadmap for US Policymakers (2014, with Gary Clyde Hufbauer); Understanding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (2013, with Jeffrey J. Schott and Julia Muir); Transportation and Communication Infrastructure in Latin America: Lessons from Asia (PIIE Working Paper 12-6, 2012); Chinese Investment in Latin American Resources: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (PIIE Working Paper 12-3, 2012, with Theodore Moran and Julia Muir); Reengaging Egypt: Options for US-Egypt Economic Relations (2010, with Jeffrey J. Schott); and "Chile-US Free Trade Agreement: A Model to Follow?" in Capitalizing on the Morocco-US Free Trade Agreement: A Road Map to Success, ed. Hufbauer and Brunel (2009).